HENLEY in Arden station could on track to be redeveloped.
While trains on the North Warwickshire line between Birmingham and Stratford do stop at the platform – which includes an electronic help point and ticket machine – the station building has been derelict and boarded up for many years.
The proposal to develop the station into a rail hub for the surrounding area is among a number being considered to upgrade rail services in Warwickshire to coincide with the arrival of HS2.
Warwickshire County Council is looking at improving the rail network between now and 2034 under a new rail strategy, which it says will benefit businesses and the some 10million passengers who travel on the county’s train lines each year.
The plan would see an extension to services from the ’north-south corridor’ – which the Leamington and Coventry stops are on – to the East Midlands and Thames Valley, including stops at Oxford, Reading and Nottingham.
Elsewhere in the county a new train station could be built between Kenilworth and Coventry stations to better serve Warwick University and new housing developments.
Council officers say it would improve connections to the University of Warwick and the planned housing developments in the surrounding areas, including Kings Hill.
Improvements would not take place until at least 2027 but could also see new car parking facilities created.
And a second station called Rugby Parkway could be built close to the M1 junction 18. Trains would run to London twice an hour.
The council says the strategy looks at how HS2 – which is set to run between Birmingham and London, with 54km cutting through the heart of Warwickshire – can benefit the local rail network.
A council spokesman said: “The arrival of HS2 will have a significant impact on rail services in Warwickshire, not least due to the release of capacity. This presents a significant opportunity to influence and shape future service provision to enable passenger service and freight enhancements, new connectivity opportunities and new stations serving Warwickshire to be delivered, thereby maximising the economic benefits to Warwickshire afforded by the arrival of HS2.”
The council says funding would come from bids to government and would use ‘innovative ways’ of securing the money needed without using council funds.
The strategy has been approved by councillors to go to public consultation before going to cabinet for approval in December.